Skip the primary navigation if you do not want to read it as the next section.
Skip the main content if you do not want to read it as the next section.
Fracture risk from epilepsy drugs
People with epilepsy taking anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) could be at greater risk from fractures, falls and osteoporosis according to new research.
The study, led by the University of Melbourne and published in the journal Neurology, found that people taking AEDs are up to four times more likely to have spine, collarbone and ankle fractures. They are also more likely to have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Chief Investigator, Prof John Wark from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital said this research revealed new information critical to understanding the higher risk for fractures and falls in epilepsy patients taking antiepileptic medication.
‘We believe patients need to be offered better information to help them to avoid these risks and prevent injury,’ he said.
More than 70 per cent of epilepsy patients who participated in the study were unaware of the increased risk of fractures, decreased bone mineral density and falls associated with taking AEDs.
‘No published studies have explored epilepsy patients’ awareness of the effects of AEDs on bone health, fracture risk and falls. This study indicates that awareness of these issues is poor, despite our study population attending specialist epilepsy clinics at a centre with a major interest in this area,’ said Prof Wark.
Managing better bone health
‘Most patients indicated they would like to be better informed about these issues, suggesting that more effective education strategies are warranted and would be well-received.
‘Epilepsy patients should be assessed regularly for their history of falls and fractures for appropriate management strategies to be offered.’
The study compared 150 people taking AEDs with 506 not taking medication. Those on AEDs were epilepsy outpatients at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, over 15 years old and had been taking AEDs for a minimum of three months.
You can read more about epilepsy in later life in this extract from our magazine Epilepsy Review.
You can find out how to subscribe to Epilepsy Review and read extracts from the current magazine here.